After the jump, you’ll find the latest racism-related video to go viral. So far, two of you have sent it to me, even though it didn’t take place in D.C. I’ll warn you that it’s disturbing and filled with ugly language, including the “N-word”. Here’s what it’s about:
Things got ugly when a black mail carrier refused to take back a letter he’d delivered to a lady in Hingham, Mass. She went on a racist rant and slapped him. He secretly taped it all on his cell phone.
So many people assume that the South has a monopoly on racist behavior. I remember when I told my friends that I was starting this exciting new job at WAMU, and one of them, who was from Massachusetts, said, “It’s a shame that D.C. has so many racial issues.” Inwardly, I felt confused because I had heard the exact same thing about their home state. I didn’t say anything because I don’t know Massachusetts that well. I don’t know it any better after watching what’s below, but I do think it’s unhelpful to stereotype certain regions as “backwards” or prone to racism. The quote I excerpted above is from Gawker, where commenters are already chiming in about their lack of surprise that such a thing would happen in Hingham, MA.
I grew up in sunny Northern California, where I got called the N-word plenty of times. I have friends who grew up in Mississippi who never heard that word, once. Massachusetts doesn’t have a problem with racism; America does. Ignorance is everywhere– so is kindness and fairness. What’s interesting to me is how we live in a time when people can use the power of their mobile phones to record what they are seeing, upload it and allow it to go viral. Ten years ago, no one would’ve seen or heard what you are about to watch.